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Partially sighted campaigner takes issues to Westminster
8:40am Wednesday 30th October 2013 in News
A PARTIALLY sighted teenager has traveled to the Houses of Parliament to launch a new campaigning network.
The network, which is supported by the Royal National Institute of Blind People, aims to empower young people with sight loss to get involved in campaigning on issues that matter to them.
Francesca Balon, from Pennington, was one of the group who travelled to London to meet MPs on October 23.
She said: “Growing up in Leigh it was quite hard to meet other visually impaired people and I never really took part at school. One major issue is transport and being able to get around independently as well as access services and leisure activities.
“Andy Burnham listened to the issues. I spoke to him about the crossing outside the Spinning Jenny because anyone with a visual impairment who lacked confidence would struggle with that crossing and therefore they cannot get into Leigh town centre.
“In London, they have talking buses so when there I can get around without having to speak to the bus driver and Mr Burnham said although this was down to the operator, he would look into the possibility of ensuring the vehicles on the guided busway will have this service.”
Francesca also watched Prime Minister's Questions and heard more about how Government engages with disabled people.
She said: "I really enjoyed meeting other young people with sight loss who, like me, want to take action on issues that matter to us.
“Because my mum is also visually impaired, I have been taught to use what sight I have but others have been wrapped in cotton wool so they don’t know how to be independent.
"I want to campaign alongside others in order to make my voice heard and hope that I can help to improve services for blind and partially sighted people."
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